Getting offensive: Maryville softball powers past Heritage
By John Brice | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Raven Boyd belted the home run that broke open a close game Wednesday against rival Heritage and then very nearly had another dinger.
Maryville High School’s sophomore infielder, however, wasn’t interested in taking too much credit after the Lady Rebels bashed their way to an 8-2 win at Everett Park.
“I just stayed up there and battled and hit my good pitch. It felt like it (was a home run), I guess yeah. It felt good, but it was as a team effort that we made it there,” said Boyd, who later added an RBI-single off the left-field fence. “I just helped it a long some.
“We’re strong offensively. It gives us a confidence boost and gets us ready for the next game.”
That next game is today against William Blount, but Maryville (4-5, 2-0 District 4-AAA) continued its offensive onslaught in two league games with a balanced attack. Taylor Hodge started the scoring with a two-out, opposite-field double that scored Haley Hilliard in the first, and Hilliard added her own two-run homer during a four-run fifth in which the Lady Rebels forged out to a 7-0 edge.
“Offensively, we’ve got a lot of girls that can hit and we’ve got a lot of speed that we can put on the bases,” said MHS coach David Allen, who improved to 76-24 as Maryville’s softball coach through 100 career games.
He previously led the Lady Rebels to the state tournament and has again established lofty goals in 2013.
“(Wednesday), I didn’t feel like we used our speed to our advantage but we hit the ball. I think we can be dangerous either way.
“Raven Boyd had a big day today, and you could see she just needed that for her confidence. We’ve seen she’s had that power and ability to hit like that. Her being a sophomore, this was a good game for her to help her confidence.”
Maryville starter Madison Ogle worked five shutout innings and teamed with Mikale Clendenen for nine total strikeouts.
Heritage, however, never stopped battling.
The Lady Mountaineers got single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Logan Frazier paced the Heritage offensive attack with three hits, including a run-scoring single in the seventh.
But Clendenen got a grounder to first to give Maryville its second district win in as many games.
The Lady Rebels have scored a combined 20 runs in those wins against Catholic and their Blount County rivals.
“Maddie pitching, she does a great job. Mikale did a good job coming in the last couple of innings. We’re young and and you expect some mistakes, some growing pains, but I feel like we can play with anybody,” Allen said. “Heritage, they’re always a good team and it’s a county rivalry.
“A lot of these girls have played against each other growing up. They know each other and are familiar with one another.”